Use of Indian Army to promote govt schemes illegal, weakens it: Congress
In a bid to promote its politics, the Modi government has handed over posters of government schemes to the Army, says head of party's ex-servicemen department
The Congress on Friday accused the government of involving defence and related agencies in propagation of its schemes, alleging that the Centre is using the Army for its political agenda and weakening it.
Addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in Delhi, the head of the party's ex-servicemen department chief Col (retd) Rohit Chaudhry said this step by the government is an "abuse of power" and is "illegal".
"In a bid to promote its politics, the (Narendra) Modi government has handed over posters of government schemes to the Army. The Defense Department has issued a circular, under which 822 selfie points related to the schemes of the Modi government will be set up in the country. Instructions have been given to the security agencies of the country to set up these points," Chaudhry claimed.
"Will our country's soldiers now campaign for the BJP and PM Modi? Have we lowered the stature of the Army so much? The soldiers who stand at the border of the country in very difficult conditions, will now promote the schemes of Modi government?" he said.
The Army, Air Force and Navy have not displayed this order on their website, which means they consider it illegal, Chaudhry said.
"People who come under the Army Act, Navy Act, Air Force Act are prohibited from campaigning for any kind of political party... the Modi government is insulting our soldiers. Both Army and soldiers are the heritage of the country. They are not the personal property of any political party," Chaudhry said, alleging that the government is attacking the Army and weakening it.
Earlier this week, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had accused the government of using the Army "politically" for elections and claimed the ruling party has hurt its dignity by "capitalising on the popularity of soldiers".